The internet has flourished under this bi-partisan approach. In fact, private sector broadband providers have invested more than $1.3 trillion in our economy since 1996.
In this pro-business environment, a robust network has been built out across the nation, providing the vast majority of Americans – 99 percent – with access to broadband. These investments spurred the economy, and changed the way we live and the way we do business.
Businesses are growing and producing new high-paying jobs in part because high-speed connectivity has introduced them to new customers and enabled them to expand to new and larger markets.
At the same time, employees and workers are using broadband connectivity to further their educations and develop the skills they need to grow in their careers.
In short, this is one of the most successful areas in our economy, and at a time when many Americans continue to look for quality jobs and work to acquire higher skills to be prepared for better careers, we should be focused on policies that promote expanded deployment of broadband infrastructure and increased broadband adoption among consumers.
Unfortunately, what the President proposed last week – aggressive government control and regulation of the Internet sphere – would lead to the opposite. His proposal would lead to a system that would cause tremendous disruptions in the market and one that – if followed by the FCC – would stifle our economy, impair innovation, jeopardize private investment in vital infrastructure, and hamstring an energetic and thriving component of our economy.
Unsurprisingly, a bi-partisan chorus of rebukes followed the President’s statement.
Tennessee’s own former Representative Harold Ford, Jr., remarked that an approach akin to that proposed by the President would lead to unprecedented government interference in the Internet, hurt consumers and innovation, and threaten millions of jobs.
In addition, the President’s misguided proposal also includes wireless providers, and in recent years, the wireless sector has done more to close the digital divide than any other broadband deployment effort.
Just as broadband is vital to businesses – opening up new markets and connecting customers to vital products and services – it is also essential in our homes.
Through wireless accessibility and smartphone innovations, broadband is more widely available, it is more affordable, and ever-greater numbers of Americans are adopting broadband each and every day.
People from all walks of life are using wireless broadband and technology to positively impact their lives – whether as business owners, through on-line education opportunities, or with telemedicine.
In short, broadband is essential to the way we live our lives today.
Our economy and our communities depend on a robust network, fueled by private investment, growing through constant enhancing and upgrading to meet growing consumer demands. Because of this, it is vital that our elected officials reject the President’s position on this issue and instead pursue and continue the policies that have brought us the Internet we all know and enjoy today, and that will encourage further investment in wired and wireless broadband accessibility and adoption.
As we continue to fight to strengthen our economy, create jobs, and provide opportunities for families across America, our leaders in Washington D.C., must pursue policies that encourage private investment, job creation, and business growth.